BASC asks government to include shooting in Covid-19 planning

BASC has sought reassurances that government will consider the long-term future of shooting and its conservation benefits as it considers steps to relax the Covid-19 lockdown.

In a letter to Environment Secretary George Eustice, the UK’s largest shooting organisation has highlighted the importance of building confidence that game shooting, deer stalking and other countryside activities will be free of restrictions as soon as possible.

While continuing to offer support for the steps the police and government are taking to protect rural communities from the virus, BASC is seeking clarity on issues around shooting.

BASC chief executive Ian Bell wrote: “We fully support the government’s fight to defeat Covid-19, protect the NHS and minimise the number of infections and deaths.

“We all look forward to the day restrictions on outdoor recreations such as shooting are lifted or changed. When that is being considered we would welcome the opportunity of working with you.

“Shooting contributes not only to personal well-being but also benefits and shapes the natural environment and supports livelihoods and local communities across the UK.

“Shoots are already facing difficult choices ahead of this year’s game shooting season with some taking the decision not to shoot next season. Any relaxation of the current shut-down on shooting would help build confidence in the future.”

“We look forward to working with Defra as we come out of the current crisis.”

The full text of the letter is available here.